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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Headquarters

06 May 2008

Remarks to donors of the United Nations System Staff College

I am delighted to welcome all of you to UN Headquarters, and to tell you how much I value the work of the United Nations System Staff College. On two visits I have seen at first hand the good work you do.

I am especially grateful to you for helping to organize my retreat with senior managers in Turin last September -- a very fruitful three days where we forged an understanding on our shared agenda.

Let me also express the gratitude of the entire United Nations family for the support the Government of Italy provides for our training activities and Turin campus.

We live in an age where change is the only constant. It is the life-long learners who are able to participate and contribute in forging a better future for all. The United Nations is a knowledge-based organization, and learning together is critical to our success.

As we strive to strengthen and modernize our institution, we must always remember that success depends on the people who work here. Learning and training transform our creative potential into applied knowledge.

Only in this way can we tackle the longer-term, strategic issues before us -– from food security to climate change, from water to the Millennium Development Goals.

The United Nations System Staff College gives life to this principle of life-long learning. It represents a special environment for sharing ideas and experiences. It is a house of knowledge in the best and truest sense of the word.

Last year alone, more than 4,000 United Nations staff took part in nearly 100 training activities around the world. These valuable programmes deserve attention and support. I hope that this meeting will help you to identify ways to collaborate to advance our common aims.

As we strive to realize the goals of “One United Nations”, the United Nations System Staff College has a key role in helping to advance this unity of purpose, so we can deliver better results to the peoples of the world, where it counts.

In that spirit, I thank you all for your vision and your commitment. I wish you a most productive session.